Opinion
E-waste: The growing environment threat in Uganda
Publish Date: Jul 17, 2014
newvision
  • mail
  • img

By Agatha Ninsiima
 
When I accidentally sat on my phone a few weeks ago, one look at the screen told me it was beyond repair. The only question remaining was what funeral to give to my dead ex-best friend. Rather, how best to dispose my old dead lovely phone.
 
Normally, I would just toss it in the rubbish bin.
 
Having read, reviewed and advocated for the implementation of the E-Waste Policy of 2012, I wanted to find out how I could recycle or safely dispose my dead phone without hurting the environment.
 
E-waste covers everything electronic we throw away, from the smallest battery, phone, watch to the largest computer or a television set. For most Ugandans, it has come to mean that obsolete phones, or slow computers that, two years ago, were the fastest ever available are dumped for new ones.
 
All over the world, e-waste has become the fastest growing type of rubbish. Each day, we buy new gadgets as technology continues to advance.
 
Did you know that your phone, in addition to being made with mercury, lead, arsenic, and glass, contains valuable amounts of gold, platinum, silver, and copper? In China, recycling these minerals from their e-waste is now an economic sector worth over billions of dollars every year.
 
Right now, in Uganda, our e-waste is just pilling up inside and outside our communities. We need a comprehensive legal framework that coordinates policy to turn that junk back into gold, and here's how we can do it in three easy steps:
 
Step 1: Develop a comprehensive and easily-enforceable legal standard in cooperation with the community, small businesses, local townships, and government agencies to deal with e-waste.
 
Step 2: Return enforcement proceeds to a sovereign wealth fund that provides fixed-interest rate loans to successful small recycling businesses seeking to expand their operations.
 
Step 3: Profit from consistent law, with positive profit motives of enforcement, while getting the benefit of watching businessmen fight with each other as they clean our streets.
 
As they say, one man's trash is another man's treasure. Let's find a way to treasure our beautiful and clean Uganda.
The Writer is a lawyer and project advocate at Advocates for Natural Resources Governance and Development (ANARDE).
 
Related Stories

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Happy Martyrs’ Day celebrations to UPDF
Uganda Martyrs day 2015 is celebrated in a very spectacular way with scores of zealous upcountry believers converging at Namugongo on foot....
Why and how we should care for environment
Environment is everything that is found in the universe. It consists of Hydrosphere (water bodies), Lithosphere (earth crust), Biosphere (animals and plants) and Atmosphere (the air envelope)....
Who is failing Museveni on investment?
As and when Uganda was celebration the international Labour Day, the fountain of honour President Yoweri Museveni, while addressing the nation at St Paul SS Mutolere in Kisoro district with humour, castigated the unbecoming behaviour of some bureaucrats in ministries...
‘Say no fear mongers on the passing of the biotechnology and biosafety Bill”
By Expedito Olimi In response to the article on rejection of GMOs by Brian Mugabi that featured in Sunday Vision of May.24.2015, I would like to make it clear that GM technology is not a new technology as many of us think....
Of Uganda’s sh25 trillion budget and debts
The sh25 trillion Uganda budget for FY 2015/16 has been considered when globally, the financial crisis remains apparent....
Syria the last chance saloon
The fall of Ramadi to Islamic State troops recently was not a big deal. The city was deep inside IS-held territory, IS fighters had controlled 80% of it since March and we already knew that the Iraqi army can’t fight....
Will cutting down the intake of students at Makerere guarantee the availability of facilities?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter